Parents and children who attend the UVic Child Care Services, a program that was under threat but has been marked for $500,000 in provincial funding. Black Press file photo

Parents and children who attend the UVic Child Care Services, a program that was under threat but has been marked for $500,000 in provincial funding. Black Press file photo

UVic, Arbutus add combined 92 child care spots

Province’s announcement brings relief to child care crunch

Relief is on the way for the child care crunch in Gordon Head and Queenswood area of Saanich.

The previously threatened child care program at the University of Victoria is getting $500,000 from the province to build a new facility and will increase its numbers by 32 to 116 for next year.

“The funding will allow us to transform Child Care Complex B into two new child care centres, creating 32 new spaces for preschool aged children of UVic students, faculty and staff families,” said Jim Forbes, director of campus services at UVic.

The announcement came Monday that the province is adding 251 new licensed child-care spaces in Greater Victoria, 172 of which are in Saanich, a $2.7 million investment from the province’s Child Care Major Capital Funding Program. It’s part of a $33-million plan to create more than 3,800 child-care spaces in B.C. More than half of the planned 3,800 new spaces in B.C. are at non-profit run centres and a fifth are at Indigenous child-care providers.

Locally, the funding of $174,381 will add 20 preschool places at the Cloverdale Child Care Society, $387,000 to add 60 spaces at Arbutus Grove Nature Program and Out of School Care, $219,137 to add 20 spaces at Kids Klub Torquay, $218,937 for 20 spaces at Kids Klub Northridge, $200,957 for 20 spaces at Kids Klub Braefoot, $12,400 for 12 spaces at the Curious Kids Infant and Toddler Centre, $250,000 to add 15 spaces at the Victoria Montessori Childcare Centre, $388,548 for 24 spaces at the James Bay Infant Plus Daycare Centre and $371,173 for 28 new spaces at the Phoenix Child Care Centre with the Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society.

It’s a big addition for Arbutus Grove Children’s Centre, of which 48 of the new spots are out-of-school-care spots for Frank Hobbs elementary students (kindergarten to Grade 5) and 12 are for new nature preschool spots for children three to five.

“It’s 60 new child care spaces that we’re excited about,” said director Lynn Young.

To make room Arbutus is building a new space on Frank Hobbs SD61 land.

Meanwhile construction already started at UVic’s Child Care Complex B in October. The renovations will transform the current large, open, interior space of the 1993-built Complex B into two new child care centres with a shared kitchen and separate exterior entrances.

Around B.C. the province is in the process of working with child-care providers to sign project agreements that include the specific requirements identified for each site, such as property needs (for lease or purchase), local zoning permits and the hiring of contractors to renovate the sites.

“These 251 new spaces are just a start, and we know there’s more work to do,” said Lana Popham, MLA for Saanich South.

The new child-care spaces are part of the B.C. government’s long-term goal of implementing universal child care in B.C.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Housing ensures that by March 31, shelter will be available to all people living outside. (Black Press Media file photo)
All unhoused Victoria residents will be offered shelter by March 31, says BC Housing

BC Housing working to secure shelter locations in coming weeks

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

Cathy Armstrong, executive director of the Land Conservancy, Paul Nursey CEO of Destination Greater Victoria and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice helped to kick off the annual Greater Victoria Flower Count at Abkhazi Garden Monday. This year, the flower count is less about rubbing the region’s weather in the rest of Canada’ faces, and more about extending a bouquet of compassion and love. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
2021 Greater Victoria Flower Count sows seeds of compassion

Friendly flower count competition runs from March 3 to 10

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read